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About the Coastal Management Program

The Coastal Management Program is comprised of a network of offices within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that serve distinct functions yet share responsibilities that influence the state of New Jersey's coast. Through the Coastal Management Program, dep photo-jetty the Department manages the state's diverse coastal area. A primary mission of the Program is ensuring that coastal resources and ecosystems are conserved as a vital aspect of local, state and federal efforts to enhance sustainable coastal communities. The coastal boundary of New Jersey encompasses the CAFRA area and the New Jersey Meadowlands District. The coastal area includes coastal waters to the limit of tidal influence including: the Atlantic Ocean (to the limit of NJ's seaward jurisdiction); Upper New York Bay, Newark Bay, Raritan Bay and the Arthur Kill; the Hudson, Raritan, Passaic, and Hackensack Rivers, and the tidal portions of the tributaries to these bays and rivers. The Delaware River and Bay and other tidal streams of the Coastal Plain are also in the coastal area, as is a narrow band of adjacent uplands in the Waterfront Development area beyond the CAFRA area.

A central component of New Jersey's Coastal Management Program is the Coastal Management Office, which is part of the Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning in Land Use Management. The Coastal Management Office administers the planning and enhancement aspects of New Jersey's federally approved Coastal Management Program. Office staff develop and implement long range planning projects involving coastal resource issues, and coordinate their efforts with complementary programs having similar interests and initiatives in the coastal area. These complementary programs include the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve , and three estuary programs -Delaware River, NY/NJ Harbor and the Barnegat Bay, as well as the coastal programs of adjacent states. The staff also advises the Department regarding existing policies that influence coastal resource management. Staff members work with municipal, county and state government, as well as non-profit groups on non-point pollution abatement projects. The Coastal Management Office staff also administers Coastal Zone Management Grants and prepares grant performance reports.

The Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning reviews and administers New Jersey’s federal Coastal Management Program and is responsible for development and implementation of the DEP Municipal Public Access Planning program. The Office also coordinates the Department's Living Shoreline program.

The Division of Land Use Regulation reviews coastal permit applications submitted to the Department under CAFRA, the Waterfront Development Law, and the Wetlands Act of 1970. (A description of these three laws is provided in the "Coastal Zone Boundaries" Fact Sheet). The Division of Land Use Regulation also reviews permit applications submitted under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act and conducts Federal Consistency reviews. The Office of Dredging and Sediment Technology functions in an equivalent capacity for dredging and port development projects. The Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Historic Preservation Office and other Department offices, provide technical assistance for these application reviews.

The Bureau of Tidelands Management, which is part of the Division of Land Use Regulation, serves as staff to the Tidelands Resource Council. The Council is responsible for conveyance of State-owned tidelands.

The Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Enforcement investigates possible coastal and freshwater wetland violations and seeks remedies for violations. The Bureau is also responsible for ensuring compliance with coastal and freshwater wetlands permits issued for projects throughout the coastal area.

The Engineering and Construction Program manages coastal area dredging and shore protection projects, and provides aids to navigation. Shore protection projects include beach replenishment, bulkhead installation and groin modification. Engineering and Construction also participates with the US Army Corps of Engineers on all Corps sponsored shore protection projects in New Jersey.

dep photo-wetlands

In 1961, the Green Acres Program was established to address New Jersey's growing recreation and conservation needs. The primary focus of Green Acres is acquisition of land linking existing protected areas to create open space corridors. These corridors provide valuable contiguous linear habitat that facilitates movement of wildlife, parkland for recreation, and areas of scenic benefit between towns and urban centers. Many of these lands are in the coastal zone. In addition, the Coastal Blue Acres program was created with the passage of the Green Acres, Farmland, Historic Preservation and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995. The bond act provides $15 million for grants and loans to municipalities and counties to acquire coastal lands for recreation and conservation that are storm damaged, prone to storm damage, or that buffer or protect other lands from storm damage.

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